[Game Review] Night At The Gates of Hell by Jordan King
No worries, no spoiling of the storyline. I want you to enjoy this game yourself when you get a chance to get your hands on it. There will be a warning in red with dotted lines about gameplay, if you want to keep gameplay fully surprise and the way it handles, skip the dotted part when you get to it. Thank you for reading!
From the creator of Bloodwash, Jordan King (Black Eyed Priest) teams up with Henry Hoare to bring us a new zombie survival experience with more terrifying scenarios, all the zombies and a small creepy child with the strangest relationship with his mother.
Night At The Gates Of Hell is a first person, horror survival game inspired by Italian zombie films from Lucio Fulci and Bruno Mattei. With 85 unique zombie models, a very groovy 70's soundtrack, gore filled kills and surprise guest appearances, your experience at the Gates of Hell will be nothing but a whole trip.
"You'll play as David, a quiet man whose wife recently passed away, and is living alone in his seaside apartment with nothing to lose when a zombie outbreak ravages his city and disrupts the normality of his everyday life. After gathering his thoughts, collecting a few weapons, and meeting up with other survivors, David realizes that he must fight his way to the truth behind the apocalypse, by gunning and slashing through the hordes of zombies. Escape the city by solving puzzles to unlock new areas, while collecting resources and fighting zombies, which can only be taken down with a shot directly to the head."
Night At The Gates Of Hell not only brings some creepy zombies trying to take you down at every turn, but it brings gameplay that will feel very nostalgic to anyone who has played games such as the earlier Resident Evil games and The House of the Dead arcade games. To me personally while playing through the game, my heart wanted to jump out of my chest because it gave me the same unsettling feeling of both the Resident Evil window dog jump scare combined with entering the village in Resident Evil 4. I couldn't trust the walls, I couldn't trust the floors, the whole environment of this game made me feel like anything could happen at any time. In Night At The Gates Of Hell, you do get a chance to find some weapons to protect yourself with. You will find both ammo and limited use knives (that you can check in your inventory) around the game, some which are incredibly well hidden so keep an eye out in every little corner as you play and trust me when I tell you, those knives will become extra handy because some of these zombies can be really fast!
Courtesy of Puppet Combo
"I was also inspired by the early Resident Evil titles but wanted to challenge myself to make it feel like a first-person styled early RE title. What I mean by that is to require headshots on the zombies to kill them (which can be difficult to do without any fixed aiming!), and to keep the zombies slow and menacing. Most games seem to go with fast zombies in hordes but I wanted to keep this a tense, deliberate combat experience." - Jordan King
Besides the zombies and all the carnage, like the game description mentioned, you get to meet up with other survivors which by the way, are fully voiced through the game. You get to meet Cap or Captain, who needs a few items to get his boat working to get everyone to a safe island he has heard of, not far from where they are. He is also not the brightest. Skeeter, a retired Vietnam vet who swore to never touch a gun again after surviving the trauma of war. Will his vow be challenged in order to protect his new friends? Belinda and Charles, a very odd mother and son duo, no idea who they really are but well, here they are. And Charles is one creepy kid, a little too possessive of his mother. And of course, I saved the best for last, we get to see Stan (from Bloodwash) again! He was vacationing until the undead took over, where he managed to find Belinda and Charles so he protected them until he found the others. We love Stan, but I feel bad his vacation had to be ruined after Bloodwash, if you played the game, you know he needs it.
In - Game Screenshots
Like King's previous games, Night At The Gates of Hell features different effects to pick from in the options menu to give you the visuals you want to carry your adventure in. You can see all the visual options below, I personally went with the 70's effect for my gameplay so I can get more immersed in the story myself. You also get the options of playing the game in 30fps, 60fps and uncapped (I played this on Steam/PC).
This section gets a bit into the gameplay, how the game handles and some tips I found useful for my own gameplay. Still no storyline spoilers but if you really want to keep WAY more as a surprise, I'd recommend skipping this next part between the dotted lines.
The game is broken down in multiple chapters or levels so if you need to save and quit, you'd be starting at the chapter you left off (which is quite nice). I found the way each level breaks down is per objective almost, so if you do end up having to restart it, it's a nice refresher to what your objective is again whenever you pick back up on the game. However, when you are out of knives or ammo and a zombie gets you, you will start right where you died! This was such a relief as I did die multiple times right before finishing some of the objectives. The knives work great in case you do run into something fast as you're reloading, but keep in mind they are limited use and by this I mean, each knife = 1 kill. The gun does not have fixed aim so you have to manually aim and shoot using the gun sights, there were times I had no time to do that and shooting without aiming was just hoping to get lucky.
Now, make sure in order to complete these levels, you must listen to the dialogue or instructions the characters will give you as these will be helpful in progressing in the game (this is mainly for people who like skipping dialogues). I skipped some lines by mistake and I was unable to go back to listen to them again from the character so, pay attention to what they say and the notes you find through the game.
You can always tell from King's work that not only he puts a tremendous amount of time into creating his games but he truly puts a lot of love into creating the storylines we get to play (yes, even the Booty Creek Cheek Freak). It can be challenging to bring your vision to life sometimes as a game developer, especially if you're very passionate about a certain topic, look, etc. But King gets it down every single time, whether it's 80's giallo-inspired horror, a horror/comedy game featuring a killer with an insatiable love for cheeks (and not the face ones) or a 70's-80's Italian zombie film inspired survival horror game. Night At The Gates Of Hell is another wonderful game you need to have in your library and I highly recommend it for those who are looking to kill some zombies and be a hero, have some scares, some laughs and even get a little emotional. Why emotional? Find out September 15th when Night At The Gates Of Hell releases!
Rating: 5/5 Knives 🔪
Get Night At The Gates Of Hell on Steam (bundled with the release of The Booty Creek Cheek Freak on Steam) and Itch.io on September 15th!
See the trailer (narrated by Suzi Hunter) below!
Follow Jordan King and Henry Hoare to see what they're up to next!
Check out what Torture Star Video (publishing label from Puppet Combo) is publishing!
Thank you all for taking your time in reading this review/blog and always, support indie horror ♥ Leave a "heart" in this post if you are planning on playing this game!